Skip to main content

Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

See other formats

But if even Humboldt had Tbeen too suspicious
against the modern school of speculation, it cannot
be denied that his rule was, on the other hand, free
from a fault to "which the best directors of public in-
struction have always been, addicted—namely, in un-
duly or exclusively favouring one philosophic system..
The endowment of the university was complete, not
only with regard to its teachers : extensive collections
had existed for some time in the capital, which were
now given to the high school, or at least united with
it. There was a considerable library, a botanic gar-
den, a collection of anatomical preparations, and a
quantity of other scientific collections, which were
now increased and completed, and formed into a
magnificent museum for natural history.
Thus everything necessary was arranged punctually
to obey the royal mandate^ "but Humboldt resigned
his office before the university was opened. The prin-
cipal part of the work was, however, done, so that the
rest might be completed by inferior hands. It is a
characteristic feature in Humboldt's life, that he was
not even present at the opening of this his creation,.
On the 29th of April, 1810, he expressed a wish to
return to his diplomatic career7 and in the middle of
June his wish was fulfilled by his appointment to a
post, in which such a man was urgently needed.
The reasons which induced Humboldt to resign
smah a congenial sphere of action are involved in
mystery*. It is certain that the ministry was in a very
feeble position, said anticipated its dissolution daily.
A certain vacillation pervaded all its measures, be-
cause the financial department was not based oia a
jBxm foundation. ASL arm to direct the whole firmly was
much missed, wet reports were repeatedly circulated
that Dohna and tihe whole ministry had laeei^jgiaad. At
last the kin^ .dc^teo^agoked to summon HL®rdenfeer^,,tt0
the bead of affairs; Napoleon, permitted it, aad <»
the Sih of June, 1810, he entered upon his port. The
l<isrd chancellor IBegpa&e* the minister of finance Alten-
stein?and Sharnhorst^ immediately resigned, the latter